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Iran to unveil new oil contracts at London event

Officials say nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185bn have been identified

Iran has about 150bn barrels of oil reserves, according to the government.
Iran has about 150bn barrels of oil reserves, according to the government.

Iran will unveil new oil contracts to foreign investors at a London conference in December, according to the country's petroleum minister Bijan Zangeneh.

Energy officials said last month that Iran has identified nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185bn.

The government plans to offer all blocks to foreign exploration and production firms, Iran’s deputy oil minister for commerce and international affairs, Hossein Zamaninia, told Reuters in July.

Iranian officials have also designed a new petroleum contract structure for international investors called the "integrated petroleum contract" or IPC, under which all deals will be signed.

The IPCs will last for a term of 20 to 25 years and is considered a substantial improvement over the older, shorter-term contracts, which have been a major stumbling point for international oil and gas companies.

“New contracts with foreign companies will be signed in the IPC framework which I think will be more attractive,” Zangeneh said.

Iran’s oil and gas sector has opened for foreign investment after the Islamic Republic struck a historic deal with the West on July 14th.

The deal will result in the phased lifting of decades of international economic sanctions in exchange for closer monitoring and access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

So far a number of western officials and firms have shown heightened interest in Iran’s oil and gas sector, with some paying a visit to the government headquarters to discuss potential return to the country.

“All three delegations from Germany, France and Italy were very serious in their negotiations and sought to return to Iran as soon as possible after the annulment of the sanctions,” Zamaninia said.

For its part, Iran has called for the transfer of technology and investment in its huge oil fields.

“Investment by European companies and their partnership with our private sector for construction of equipment and tools will not be restricted to the Iranian market; rather, the doors of regional markets will open to this cooperation.”

According to Iran's minister of industry, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, the Islamic Republic has already secured $2bn worth of trade deals since a deal was reached to end international sanctions.

Less than a week after the deal was signed, Iran exported its first shipment of oil, with a 2mn barrel Iranian supertanker setting sail for the Asia Pacific region.

The supertanker had been storing crude offshore, according to news site Reuters. While oil analysts do not expect Iran to make a major return to the market until next year, it has been parking millions of barrels of oil on tankers for months.

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